July 16, 2007
Episcopal Church Gone Wild: Now There's 'Musli-piscopalianism'Topics: Faith
As though the Episcopalian Church hasn't already pushed the envelope of sanity, now Reverend Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopalian priest from Seattle, has come up with the "mind-boggling" idea that she's both an Episcopalian and a Muslim.
Of this new insanity, Warner Todd Huston writes at Renew America:
[...] yet another outrage against the Episcopal Church, as hard as it is to rise to the level of outrage for a Church with so many such instances constantly coming to the fore. After all, the Episcopal Church has lurched from one upheaval to another for these many years. From the fight over ordaining female priests, to allowing avowedly and unapologetically homosexual priests to take the pulpit, not to mention their many decades of "progressive" ministries, the Episcopal Church has seen falling numbers in their congregations and splinters over doctrine as a result of the constant reevaluating of its tenets and practices. It's no wonder that the joke about them seems too true for comfort; Episcopalians are just agnostics who can't shake that need to go somewhere on a Sunday morning.
[...] This latest instance does not help belie the claims from another, more cynical, religious perspective, that of radical Islamists, who claim the west in general is in relative cultural and religious decay. Islamists see endemic in western societies an unwillingness or inability to uphold their own religious convictions and sees a west constantly warping and tearing down their own practices. Certainly I won't substantiate that view, but it sure is hard to dismiss it out of hand when stories like this come up.Musli-piscopalianism? It's hard to know which faith should be more disturbed by the wayward woman priest, Muslims or Episcopalians.
[...] Certainly, this paean to "tolerance," this kitschy religionism, is based in woeful ignorance of her original religion and willful ignorance of her newfound Islamic hobbyhorse. Of course, none of this would be so bad if religion was only meant to make one "feel" better like any new age snake oil-like con job, but this is not the case at all. Religion is presented as God's truth, a truth not invented by man but one merely accepted by him. To mix and match them so gratuitously certainly makes the lie to any claims of "truth," to be sure.
This lack of doctrinal adherence is not surprising in the US in particular. Since the Second Great Awakening in the 1940's and 50's, doctrine went the way of the dinosaurs to be replaced by that religious "feeling" and the last vestiges of a Priests or Ministers who actually taught a religion was replaced by the showmen who made worshippers "feel" Jesus instead of understanding him and his teachings. So, it isn't surprising to find a woman who has such a lack of grounding in her religion that one seems just as good a fit as another... or that several can be molded and shaped to fit her "feelings" of the moment.
And here we get back to that disdain radical Muslims have for westerners; the fact that we won't even stand up for our own religious beliefs.
[...] this Musli-piscopalianism invented by this wayward "Reverend" who is probably seeking the light of the media to lead her onward as opposed to that of God's won't help Islam to reform. That must be done from within Islam itself. All this woman's actions will do is heap more scorn on western religionists. And this woman is truly treating religion as an "ist" would be defined it should be stressed. Combining all sorts of religions to create something simply for the sake of a new religion of tolerance is not religion but "religionism" -- religion for the sake of religion, not religion as distinct ideologies and creeds.
Regardless, it seems that Reverend Ann has been going a bit heavy on her hormone shots - her emotions have obviously taken her over reality's edge. As Huston notes in his article, Redding is being sidelined from her position as director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral by her Bishop, Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, who says he's given her a year off from her duties to "reflect on the doctrines of the Christian faith, her vocation as a priest, and what likely the conflicts inherent in professing both Christianity and Islam."
Then again, taking a step back and giving this a second look, it's only fitting that the first female imam would be an Episcopalian...
Posted by Abdul at July 16, 2007 3:29 PM
This is somewhat old news, finally. All we Episcopalians need is something like this. It is a good thing we have a sense of humor and our reputation for knowing how to mix a good martini. These days it takes the former and quite a bit of the later to deal with the liberal do-gooders in the church.
If I did not know better, and did not know many, many wonderful, Christ-loving, prayer-believing Episcopalians I would be truly dismayed. We've learned to look at these people and just laugh. Also take comfort in the fact that her parish will start losing both 'heads' and money. That's how we Episcopalians tend to 'vote' on the behavior of our sometimes wayward priests. When the $$$s stop coming in, behaviors will either change or she will be looking for a new parish.
One long time parishioners I know recently told me, "I"ve been here for 50 years and have seen priests come and go. They have not changed my faith or what I believe. I also trust the Lord enough to know when He is ready for them to move on, they do, then we are treated to someone special. I'll be here long after they are gone." I've come to realize she is right.
Quite frankly, I am quite tired of well meaning people from other denominations constantly piling on those the rank and file members of the Episcopal Church. I've been a member of several denominations over the years and if I could not be Episcopalian I would be Catholic. I've come to learn that I can always depend on my fellow Episcopalians for love, prayer, and support. Contrary to popular opinion and a few nut-cases, we truly believe in Christ, John 3:16, and 1st Century Christian living.
Don't judge all of us by a few crazies. Also, don't make the mistake of condemning everyone who is Episcopalian. At least our 'gays' our out of the closet, which is more than can be said of other denominations. (Like I said, it takes a sense of humor).
The Pink Flamingo
Posted by: S. J. Reidhead at July 16, 2007 4:29 PM
Now you know why we Episcopalians have a reputation for drinking! We need it!
The Pink Flamingo
Posted by: S. J. Reidhead at July 16, 2007 4:31 PM
Hey, don't fret. I'm Roman Catholic and we've had our share of hiccups too.
Things like this is why Catholics and Episcopalians do have wee toddy now and then, and now and then, and ....
And yes, we all do have to have one hell of a sense of humor.
Posted by: Richard at July 16, 2007 6:53 PM
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